How Warner Bros. Should Have Responded To Harry Potter Leak

from the seriously? dept

Not this again. With the news that the the first 36 minutes of the new Harry Potter movie have leaked online, Warner Bros. has gone the traditionally braindead, clueless path of demanding the heads of the leakers:
"Last night a portion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was stolen and illegally posted on the internet," Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available. Also, we are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law."
This is, of course, reminiscent to the leak of Wolverine last year -- except even more ridiculous on the part of Warner Bros. As we noted when Wolverine leaked, there were plenty of ways that the studio could have responded to this that didn't involve acting like overprotective children, but instead got fans excited. I came up with a "suggested" response at the time, and I'll do the same for Warner Bros here (no charge!):
Hey Harry Potter fans! We know how excited you all are for the next installment of the Harry Potter movie series this weekend. We're pretty excited too. Obviously someone here was so excited that they went and leaked the first 36 minutes of the film online. We didn't authorize this, and really wished it didn't happen, but it's out there. We're sure many of you will probably want to check it out, but we think that the full movie experience in the theater is really something quite special. If you really must watch the leaked clip, be forewarned: you're going to have to wait until the end of the week to find out what actually happens, and you're going to be dying in suspense, so we'd suggest you hang on and see the whole thing in the theater this Friday...
Or something like that. Once again, can you imagine how much better fans would respond to that sort of thing than to the chest-thumping silly threats? Besides, this is only 36 minutes of the movie. A bunch of movie studios have already released the beginnings of various movies to try to get people interested. If I remember correctly, all the way back in 2000 or so, the movie Chicken Run released the first 30 minutes or so to get people to go to the theater and other films have done that as well. So I'm having a really hard time figuring out exactly how this could possibly be bad for Warner Bros.

Well, unless the first 36 minutes absolutely sucks... But if that's the case, it shouldn't be about running to the authorities, but to the folks who made the bad movie.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    thaaaats right... there yea go... aaaaaand see, toldya so ;-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    A lot of commenters on other sites seem to believe this is a publicity stunt...and to be honest, I wouldn't be too surprised.

     

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      Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      That is exactly what this is. Purposefully leaked. Who only gets 36 minutes of film? If they were going to leak something, it would have been the whole thing. This is promotion they would never admit to because that would be admitting that piracy doesn't hurt them, and that it can only help. But they cannot admit to that otherwise they lose their false leg they have been standing on when they go crying to congress repeatedly.

       

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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Dawn of the Dead

    I remember when the remake of Dawn of the Dead was coming out and the studio released the first 10 minutes of the film as a promotional move. I was skeptical of how good it was going to be and was planning on skipping it, but after watching those 10 minutes, I was impressed enough that it got me into the theater, fast zombies and all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    I dont believe any of it

    no dumbass would leak only the first 36 minutes unless they worked in advertising.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Agreement

    I must agree with the commenters before me, 36 minutes is an extended trailer, nothing more.

    A 'controversy' due to its theft though, that's advertising gold.

     

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    Dirk Belligerent (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Anyone else surprised....

    ...that this wasn't yet another screed from Mike about how studios need to release movies on DVD at the same time as their theatrical release? I'm genuinely surprised that it wasn't.

     

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      Joe Average, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:11am

      Re: Anyone else surprised....

      That's actually a pretty good idea though, I mean what's really lost if the consumer gets to pick how they watch a movie? A vast majority of the time I already know if I want to watch a movie at the theater before it comes out, so giving me a chance to rent and watch at home would be a great incentive to me to buy a ticket or a copy of the movie outright.

       

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    Jessica, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    I have been shamelessly scouring the internet for any tidbit of info on the film for the past month so when I saw this story last night i did not hesitate to download and watched it several times. Also those 36 minutes end right after they apparate from the wedding so all the really good stuff is yet to be seen. i cannot comprehend how this could possibly hurt the film and prevent anyone from not seeing it. i showed it to my boyfriend who doesnt even follow the films and he now wants to see it in the theaters. so there you go. im not sure if it was intentional or not, but either way it made me want to see the rest of the movie ASAP! i was going to wait until a few days later when the crowds died down, but now i'm desperate to see it on Friday.

     

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    Jessica, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    I have been shamelessly scouring the internet for any tidbit of info on the film for the past month so when I saw this story last night i did not hesitate to download and watched it several times. Also those 36 minutes end right after they apparate from the wedding so all the really good stuff is yet to be seen. i cannot comprehend how this could possibly hurt the film and prevent anyone from not seeing it. i showed it to my boyfriend who doesnt even follow the films and he now wants to see it in the theaters. so there you go. im not sure if it was intentional or not, but either way it made me want to see the rest of the movie ASAP! i was going to wait until a few days later when the crowds died down, but now i'm desperate to see it on Friday.

     

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    ed, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

    What they wrote was exactly what they should do. This is grand theft to the nth degree. It's almost impossible to calculate the damage financially that piracy is causing to the industry and even to the entire economy. So I hope the thieves who get caught get massive fines and jail time depending on that they've done. Screw them. Usually the ones who defend or minimize piracy are those that do it and benefit from it because they're too cheap to buy a ticket or too lazy to get a job.

     

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      Evil Ed, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:22am

      Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

      crappy troll is crappy

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:56am

      Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

      Seriously? Really? I see this as promo gold. I am not a Harry Potter fan but I know many rabid fans that will eat this up and us it as fodder to be first in line at the midnight showing.
      It's an extended trailer that will get people excited and buying up all of the Harry Potter stuff they can get.
      Even if you and the movie studios are not smart enough to know how to manipulate the fanbase, you really should learn how to take advantage of these situation's. Instead of killing off the fanbase that funds the industry.
      Sheesh. Get a clue please!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

      Too cheap to buy a ticket or too lazy to get a job?

      Do you live in the US? Have you seen the unemployment rate?

       

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      Karl (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

      Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

      What they wrote was exactly what they should do.

      Are you some sort of agent provacateur? 'Cause everything you said was so wrong, you're just making "your" side look bad.

      Either way, I LOL'ed.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 18th, 2010 @ 12:26am

      Re: Ummm no they should protect their IP from dirtbag thieves

      "It's almost impossible to calculate the damage financially that piracy is causing to the industry"

      It certainly is. However, that doesn't make it infinite. It could in fact be very little in real terms if you bother to weigh in all the factors. Glad to see one of you people admitting that we can't really know, however.

      As for "too cheap to buy a ticket or too lazy to get a job", you have such a ridiculously faulty premise it's not surprising that your industry's "solutions" to the problem as so harmful to themselves. At least, I assume you're paid by the industry - nobody's honestly this clueless, right?

       

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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    You are also genuinely off topic. The idea of "Windows" is silly in it's current incarnation simultaneous release has some benefits to it and may overcome the downsides, but having to wait 90 days to a year to see a movie I deemed not worth seeing in theaters but maybe worth queuing up on Netflix is ridiculous.

     

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    Prashanth (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    For that matter, even if the movie really did suck, Warner Brothers would still be demanding protection from the government and somehow throttling customers by their necks for money because of course `filmmakers have a divine right to make money from their movies`.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Look, I hate Harry Potter with a burning passion deep inside my soul. I view the people who watch or read that sort of tripe with mild disdain...especially the most rabid of fans (sorry Jessica). I feel superior to them in every way. I keep wishing something would happen to destroy the franchise. This is not that something. This will make the little girls who support this excrement even louder due to the excitement this will end up creating. The person who leaked this should be put in jail.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      I'm torn. I want to mark AC's comment both Insightful and Report at the same time.
      I too hate Harry but jail? I say make them pay for and sit through the entire movie 5 times in a row instead.
      I'm betting they beg to be forgiven before the 2nd showing is over.

       

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    Jessica, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    If it was the entire movie that was leaked I would agree that it could damage the industry financially. But...it was only 36 minutes in which about 3 or 4 scenes within those 36 minutes have been released to us already. so really anything "new" was only filler between those scenes. Legally I am sure it should not have been leaked and the person should have consequence, but massive fines and jail time?? I defend it because I dont feel there was any harm done. Seeing this leak will absolutely not make someone NOT buy a ticket. Assuming that anyone who counter argues is cheap or lazy is a cop out to prevent anyone from doing so.

     

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    Jessica, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    While I resent the word "rabid" I have to agree with you. this will only help the film and those of us who are genuinely excited for the movie to come out. i just think its sad whenever someone tries to cut down another person on purpose just because they dont share in same interests. but whatever makes you feel better right? i also find that those who despise the franchise have never read the books. They far outweigh all of the movies altogether. But im not trying to convert anyone. I am merely commenting on the fact that Warner Bros. will not take a hit from this leak. I have a feeling their statement was made only to defend themselves to please the press. I doubt anyone will get prosecuted to the "full extent of the law". Please.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      Honey, I did read the first book. It was just dreadful. The writing was ridiculous, the storyline was idiotic, and the fake Latin made me cringe. Anyone who enjoys this is an uneducated boob.

      I cannot wait until the day that all of these movies are out and this craze is over and done with.

      Thank you for agreeing with me on the word "rabid", even though you resent it.

       

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    sivad (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Basically the reason they are so upset is this. Imagine someone watching the 36 minute clip online. They decide that it fairly boring and not something they are interested in. That person will not be paying for a ticket when the movie comes out. Warner Bros would much rather you pay your money and THEN decide thew movie sucks. Not the other way around.

     

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      RikuoAmero (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      That was just what I was planning to write. This could be the only real reason that would make any kind of sense as to why WB are against this.
      Sure normal trailers are all well and good, but I for one never watch them, having learned not to trust them to accurately say whether the movie is any good or not. Should I waste my money on a bad product/service, or should I be an informed consumer and find out as much as I can, before laying my money on the table?

       

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    sivad (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Jessica I have to say that people like you that really like Harry Potter, will see the movie even without this 36 minutes of the film. I'm not sure how that "helps" WB.

     

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    Mojo, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    I doubt this is a publicity stunt, only because WB doesn't NEED to resort to something like this to fill the theaters for a Harry Potter movie. Every magazine on the stands right now has a HP story, buzz is already in the air, "it's the last movie-itis" is in full swing... They just wouldn't need to do this.

    Someone got ahold of it and leaked it, pure and simple. Even if it was the whole movie, it's not like it's going to affect the bottom line - it will still gross at least $500 million worldwide even if a bootleg DVD was dropped on the doorstep of every home in America.

    The amount of money WB will lose because of this leak is far less than they will spend in legal costs fighting it.

    THAT is usually the irony of these situations.

     

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      Karl (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

      Re:

      The amount of money WB will lose because of this leak is far less than they will spend in legal costs fighting it.

      Unfortunately, as of 2008, pre-release of movies is now a federal crime. WB will not pay a dime in legal costs.

       

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        Karl (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Oops, sorry, the "pre-release = criminal" law was enacted in 2005, not 2008. It was called the "Family Entertainment and Copyright Act," making it all but impossible to vote against ("Wassa matter? You hate families?").

         

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    Brandon, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Good point! I agree absolutely 100%.

     

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    ervserver (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Harry

    maybe Warner Bros is more concerned with people seeing this leaked snippet, thinking how bad the movie is and won't go to the theaters

     

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      interval (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

      Re: Harry

      Yeah, the film COULD just plain suck. Doubtful though, I mean unless they blew it this time and hired a useless new pack of morons to produce it... sitting here as a jaded middle-aged man who has little interest in such things as magic wands and flying broom sticks, in general the series isn't that bad. Of course, its not hard when you have an original story to work from and not the usual schlocky nonsense Hollywood writers crap out.

       

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    marak (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Yup ill put my 5 cents in the "Advertising stunt" basket. Ive never seen a "first 36 minutes!" on a tracker yet haha.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Who are those people who go to a theater to see a censored version of the DVD?

    You people know there is a theatrical version and DVD versions right?

    All those bad jokes, cussing, gore, nudity and etc get in the DVD but not in the theaters.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2010 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      All those bad jokes, cussing, gore, nudity and etc get in the DVD but not in the theaters.


      In a harry potter film ??????????

       

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    JTW, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Stupify!

    I think WB is getting some pretty good guffaws over the free publicity. And if this was a real leak from a nefarious source... it would only seem to work in WB's favor. I concur with those claiming this is a publicity stunt... unless there's an actual police report filed. That would bolster the authenticity of the claim since it's a felony to file a bogus police report.

     

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    Vic, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Let's see:

    "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation ..."

    So.... It must be good then, right?

     

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    TPBer, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Just saw it

    Just saw a full copy on one of my private trackers, but it was 4.x GB, looked to be the whole thing. I will follow up with the result. It should take approx 30-40 min, thx to Uverse and it's blazin speed. I was such a big fan of cable until I saw the light from having dedicated bandwidth.

     

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    Alter ego, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    "Last night a portion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was stolen and illegally posted on the internet," Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "Due to the theft, the first 36 minutes of the movie are now missing. Cinema-goers are encouraged to hum the Harry Potter theme-music and engage in righteous indignation while they sit out a dark, silent first half-hour."

    Seriously people, can we stop using the word "stolen" when referring to copyright infringement!

     

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    bsullivan, Nov 18th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    Harry

    I been a fans ever sense the book came on and then the movies. I own of of thems and I plan on buying the rest. It really doesn't bollow me if someone put some of it outr, Ill and my wife and grandchildren will still go and see the movie at least once if not twice.


    Bif Fan Here

     

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    Josh Taylor, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:39am

    My guess that theater pirates are still at it by hiding a digital camcorder in their jacket and sneaking them into the theater so that they can tape the whole movie.

    Why can't there be a security check at movie theaters (just like in airports) to prevent people from bringing the digital camcorders, search and confiscate them?

     

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    Anonymous1, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Harry Potter SUCKS!
    He's the most useless & stupid (shit) character created.
    Harry Potter is scum, dumb moron & arrogant asshole.(His brainless fans, actors & actresses, JK Rowling, etc are weak-minded, sore losers with low IQ)
    All of his storybooks, movies, etc are all shit, all dump, garbage, & rubbish.
    He must be removed from this face of this planet.
    Harry Potter (forever) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS!

     

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